My friend Spano came into town last night. She has a conference in DC this week, but planned accordingly so we could kick it. I met her on the street corner with a glass of wine and very briefly mourned the absence of a cigarette in my hand. I’ve noticed that while I have defeated the physical side effects of smoking*, as expected the habitual ones still pop up from time to time. And if there was one thing Spano and I loved in college, it was a couple bottles of wine from the 7/11 and a pack or two of Parliament Lights.
Spano being 2 years my senior took me under her wing when I joined the rugby team my freshman year of college. We spent a lot of time together bellied up to the bar at Kelly’s Pub and the 24 hour Starbucks in Old Town during finals. She graduated a year ahead of me and was often my go-to for questions as to how I was supposed to survive in the real world.
When I graduated, I didn’t own a single dressy article of clothing, as I heavily favored the Free People dresses and cowboy boots look. I was determined that something- anything- I owned could be considered business casual. We used to play super fun game** loosely titled: Is this outfit business casual? It started as true curiosity with I was wearing this dress.
Me: Is this business casual? Like if I was wearing a cardigan?
Spano: IT HAS BLUE SPARKLES ON IT!***
Me: So, you are saying no…
Following graduation, a whirlwind trip though Europe and some quality time on my mom’s couch with a bottle of Bailey’s and a straw, I landed the job that brought me out to DC. I was destined to pay taxes and dress in the mandatory business casual each morning- and largely had no idea what that meant.
I did a lot of googling, a lot of polling and a lot of questioning to the Gap sales lady in order to define business casual. I spent a lot of time in dressing rooms. Horrible things like khakis and polo shirts were mentioned. I felt like a little girl dressing up in my mommy’s clothes every time I put on a suit. I struggled, I had wardrobe malfunctions, I sometimes showed up to work with a white shirt and a purple bra.
But when I walked downstairs this morning wearing make-up, dressed in a gray wool skirt, tights, black boots and a purple cardigan Spano said, “damn girl, you look good”.
I guess I might have figured it out. At least for today.
*For the most part- bike accidents aside.
**By we I mean me, and but fun I mean it was annoying to everyone else.
***I totally met Barack Obama in 2007 wearing a black stripped skirt with silver sequins. For the record.